Any photo of a Yankee pitcher walking off the mound in the 10th while an opposing player rounds the bases in triumph is like a friggin‘ Van Gogh to me. There should be a museum in Boston filled with these. And the ones taken a few minutes later, with the entire Devil Rays team surrounding Navarro at the plate like they’d just won Game 7, they’re pretty cool too.

The devastating Yankee loss was the perfect nightcap to a very convincing Red Sox win. Any Sox win and Yankee loss is the perfect combination, like chocolate and peanut butter, but given the circumstances it’s more like cold beer and hot dogs. Curt Schilling put on his October pants a week early and went out and showed Oakland just how he rolls in the autumn. A leisurely 86-pitch, six-inning performance to keep the motor tuned for the post-season.

If there was any doubt that Eric Gagne belongs stuffed in a locker for the playoffs, his performance last night should have erased it. His inability to get through the eighth, necessitating the use of Jon Papelbon, was the exclamation point on his season of suck with the Red Sox. I proclaim September 25th to be the end of the short-lived Gagne era in Boston.

On the positive side – the return of both Manny and Youk. Seeing them both in the line-up last night was like seeing Ralph Macchio go into the crane position, you just know it’s over. Wow, and that last sentence proves that I was too busy watching movies while other kids my age were out trying to deflower the neighborhood girls. Anyway, the lead is back to three with five games to play. Not a slam-dunk, but should be an easy lay-up.

A rare 5:00PM start today, so get those “off-site meetings” scheduled. Jon Lester wants you watching.